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Will I get it too?
Posted: Sunday, January 22, 2012 9:30 PM
Joined: 12/31/2011
Posts: 14

Is anyone else worried about getting AD or some other form of Dementia because family members have it?  I think about it a lot.


Dad has AD. His Mom had Dementia and his sister has Vascular Dementia.

Mom has MCI. Her mother had some form of Dementia and so does her sister.


I have 2 sisters and they don't seem to worry about getting Dementia. I can't stop worrying that every time I forget something(which seems a lot lately), I am getting it.


Asked my parents Neuro if he thought I had it & was told no. Told my memory issues are caused by stress.


Isn't it pretty likely that I will also get Dementia since both sides of family have it????

Posted: Sunday, January 22, 2012 9:50 PM
Joined: 12/6/2011
Posts: 3326

Carol, I don't know how old you are, but please don't worry about it. EOAD runs in my family, and although my father and several of his siblings died with AD, I lived my life as though it would never happen to me.  


About two years ago, my first symptom appeared: I did not know whether to turn right, left or go straight at an intersection near my home, so I immediately got tested. 


Keep a list of the symptoms you believe you are having, then see a doctor to discuss them with her. (Am editing my post here because just remembered you spoke with a doc, but did you give him explicit symptoms and did he conduct tests before saying it was just stress?) The symptoms could be caused by something other than AD. If it is AD, getting on the meds as soon as possible at the early stages is best, and using best practices. They were a godsend to me. 



dutiful deb
Posted: Sunday, January 22, 2012 11:09 PM
Joined: 1/1/2012
Posts: 1882

I must admit, that I've worried about the same thing. My mother has VaD, and from the symptoms, I think my grandmother (her mother) also had it, although at the time it was referred to as "senile" dementia. Their symptoms and the age of onset are almost identical, so I feared that my sister and I were doomed to the same fate. My mother's sister also had dementia, and died from it a couple of years ago. I was almost consumed by my worry, in fact. Then I started thinking about things more logically. The VaD (Vascular Dementia) my mom has was sparked by myocardial infarction; she has been having these mini strokes called TIA's. They were caused by a number of reasons: she has type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol, all of which my grandmother also had.

In my mom's day, at least in my area, women who ate organic food and  worked out regularly were frowned upon as health freaks and fanatics, and they didn't have places like curves or 24 hour fitness clubs. Meals and snacks consisted of foods that are starchy, fatty, sugary...lots of comfort food. Fad diets and yo-yo dieting were rampant, and did a lot of damage to the health of many women.  


 I am taking the initiative in my life: I exercise regularly and try to eat healthy (although the ice cream I'm eating now is sooo goood!) But I could still be dealt a genetic shock by getting the conditions that cause dementia, despite my best intentions. My dad died from colon cancer, and I have a family history of heart disease, skin cancer, breast cancer, and parkinsons disease, among other conditions. I sometimes feel like a ticking time bomb!   I could get any of those conditions.  Or I could be perfectly healthy, get into my car, and have an accident that will kill me or leave me disabled.


Those are the things I told myself, and it has helped alleviate my own fears. I get tested regularly for the things I need to get tested for (colonoscopy every five years because of the close family fun is that!!)

 There are some types of dementia that are genetic, though, and if you are worried, and if you or others are seeing symptoms in yourself, get checked out. I think Myriam gave you good advice. Never ignore symptoms of a condition, especially if the disease runs in your family. Be proactive,  take good care of yourself,  and enjoy life like you've got lots of tomorrows!

Posted: Monday, January 23, 2012 12:00 AM
Joined: 12/21/2011
Posts: 2431

Totally wonder about it.  I hope to keep my BP down (my mom seems to have VaD) and do other things and pray for a cure.


But I look at places and wonder - will I be there one day?

Posted: Monday, January 23, 2012 7:04 AM
Joined: 12/20/2011
Posts: 276

I also worry about it, have lost my car in parking lot, more than once constantly misplacing things, forgetting appointments and so on, but am 47 and also told its just stress.
Waiting for a cure
Posted: Monday, January 23, 2012 8:22 AM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 295

I've worried about it, too.  My poor mom had some significant cognitive impairment without six months of her own mother's death from Alz.  My mom's journey is almost over..  I'm about 20 years younger than my mom was when she was diagnosed, and 40 years younger than my grandma when she wad diagnosed.  Although both were diagnosed with AD, it seems like my mom's dementia is not as typical of AD and more of a different type, like VaD.  She had suffered head trauma and had undergone surgery both the same year and both before she started showing signs of trouble.   Not sue if I can logically take comfort in the differences between my family members' dementia, but I do.

I'm going to keep living a healthy, full life, and life to the fullest.  I don't want to tiptoe around life and live to regret that.  I'd rather live full speed (in a good way) and if I do have dementia later, I'll have family who loves me and long-term care insurance. 

Mimi S.
Posted: Monday, January 23, 2012 8:40 AM
Joined: 11/29/2011
Posts: 7035

Hi all,

Another reply from one with the disease.

I had two of my father's relatives develop the disease. And so I worried. Had  symptoms, had a mini-mental test. I was told I passed, even though I knew I had difficulty. Six months after that I came down with a different neurological disease. And I thought: all that worry about AD and what do I wind up with  MG. But then the symptoms persisted and finally retesting and the diagnosis. 

The facts as I know them. Unless you have a very rare form of familial dementia, age is the most important factor in your chances of getting the disease. So, if you last til 85, you're odds are about 50/50.

If you have a close relative your odds are around 2-3%. I've read numbers a high as 10%, but when I've read the study, there were problems, usually too low a sample to be trusted. If you have relatives on both sides, I'd assume your odds increase, although I can't recall any study. 

However, a recent study said that females with a mother with AD, have an increased risk.

Worry about it? Try not to. Focus, as many have said on the Best Practices. Do remember, they are a good lifestyle and may either prolong the time before diagnosis and/or delay the progression of the disease.

Keep track of your symptoms and if necessary get tested. And yes, depression and stress, as well as a host of other things can cause symptoms. But if symptoms persist get tested by a reliable clinic or specialist.

Please do, from your library, get a copy of:

The Alzheimer's Action Plan by Doraiswamy and Gwyther of Duke Univ.

Posted: Monday, January 23, 2012 11:04 AM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 403

SInce my father died of AD last April and now my mom is in stage 7, I worry that I will not get to see this wonderful world before and if it happens to me. So, I have made it a goal to see the world ... fast. I have planned our vacations for the next 4 yrs. I am trying to fit in as many countries as possible. This summer we are going to visit 7 different countries. I am even considering places I never thought I would dare to go to.


I started to fly again because I was afraid to fly before dad died. Once I watched him take his last breath, so much fear that I had inside just left me. I now don't care anymore. I am going on a cruise next week just because and people have asked me if I am not afraid after what happened to the ship in Italy and I just say "I just don't care".


Life goes too fast!!!!! Don't worry about what may happen, worry about living as long as you are alive! The day you get the news, if you ever get it, you can sit back and say, wow I am so glad I did this or that.


I learned this from my dad, the day he got old and was having physical limitations, he was content with his life, no regrets, he did not leave anything undone.

Posted: Monday, January 23, 2012 6:19 PM
Joined: 11/30/2011
Posts: 2105

My mom died from AD, my father has vascular dementia with AD thrown in.  I do think about getting the disease myself.  I try not to dwell on it, it's hard enough trying to deal with what is happening right now, I just can't think too far into the future and worry about what may happen.  When I do, think about it, and I have to admit, it does scare me, but I'm also trying hard to take care of myself as best I can, so I can maybe fight off whatever disease is lurking around.  That's the best I can do.  The one thing I can't seem to get control of is stress.  When you are caring for someone with dementia, stress can be difficult to get a handle on, that has been an ongoing challenge for me.


I don't think much about my retirement days and what I will do once I retire, I tend to think about what care facility would be a good fit for me.  I kind of have to get around that type of thinking and strive for more of a balance and think about positives, like relaxing and maybe being able to travel a bit and just do whatever I feel like.  Plan for the worst and hope for the best.

Posted: Monday, January 23, 2012 7:37 PM
Joined: 12/16/2011
Posts: 122

I worry too! Look up a post called My thoughts...  I wrote it a year after my mom was diagnosed. Her father had some sort of dementia. My dad's grandmother had AD. So dementia on both sides. Ugh. Every failure of memory I think, is it starting now? I'm 38 and have four kids, the youngest is 7 weeks. I'm scared sh&tless.
Posted: Monday, January 23, 2012 8:35 PM
Joined: 12/7/2011
Posts: 48

I worry alot about it! My Dad had it as well as his Sister. My Mother has it and so does her Brother. Mom also had a another Brother and a Sister with it. I worry so much about it because my Husband has it and I need to be able to take care of him. My Brother is starting to show some signs. Yep, I'm worried!


Posted: Tuesday, January 24, 2012 4:21 PM
Joined: 1/21/2012
Posts: 43

I worry about it all the time. I have always thought I was quite articulate, but now I sometimes can't come up with the word I want. I forget things sometimes. I have a lot of stress and my life is very complicated so I think that may be the cause for lapses.


My mom has AD and I hope and pray I never have to go through what she is experiencing. It is a terrible way to die. My father in law was hit by a train when he was 83 and I think that would a better way to leave this world.

in the moment
Posted: Tuesday, January 24, 2012 4:52 PM
Joined: 11/30/2011
Posts: 53

I try to not worry about things that may or may not happen. I prepare for things and then not worry.   What I have learned from Alzheimers and from caring for my mom is that I do not want my family to have to care for me nor do I expect to have the finances available for placement or in home care.


My grandma on my fathers side had dementia and my mom has alz so I continue to plan for the possibility that it may happen to me.


It is scary to think about it but I cannot worry about it.  Just prepare. 


Posted: Tuesday, January 24, 2012 9:40 PM
Joined: 12/6/2011
Posts: 71

Yes I am worried.  My mother has AD, all of her siblings had it as well as her father and grandfather.  My dad died with Parkinson's.  I have made inquiries concerning genetic testing, but have been discouraged.  Everyone says enjoy your life now and don't worry about it.  I think to know would give me the incentive or maybe permission to stop spending money on medical tests like mammograms, colon and heart tests and spend it on trips or other things that I enjoy.  Each year I spend about $3000 on tests and preventative care; and I have insurance!   Those funds would make a nice little vacation.
Posted: Tuesday, January 24, 2012 11:29 PM
Joined: 12/6/2011
Posts: 3326

Eegads! Don't worry. Live life to the fullest...and save for the future. So, if you end up with AD, you will have lived a great life and have no/few regrets. If you don't end up with AD, you will have lived a great life and have $$ for a great retirement. 


This from someone who has known since 18 she had a 50/50 chance of getting AD, has lived life to the fullest with few regrets, and is facing AD like a warrior hunting for a cure...ever optimistic! 

Big hug &gt;:D< big hug and kisses :-* kiss

Cheryle Gardiner
Posted: Wednesday, January 25, 2012 12:15 AM
Joined: 11/30/2011
Posts: 529

Oh, Myriam, you have such a wonderful attitude! I send you big ((((((( HUGS )))))))
Jim Broede
Posted: Wednesday, January 25, 2012 2:26 AM
Joined: 12/22/2011
Posts: 5462

Don't worry. Be happy. Listen to Bobby McFerrin's song. Make it your theme song. Take life one day at a time. Savor each day. Don't get too far ahead of yourself. We're all gonna die some day. Of something or other. Meanwhile, get on with life. With living. --Jim
Mimi S.
Posted: Wednesday, January 25, 2012 9:07 AM
Joined: 11/29/2011
Posts: 7035,0,1208199.story 


From today's Alzheimer's Daily News and it has ben featured in several news articles the past few days.  


More evidence that the Best Practices are the way to go if you want to either delay the onset or delay the decline once you've been diagnosed with the disease. 

Posted: Wednesday, January 25, 2012 10:34 AM
Joined: 1/4/2012
Posts: 4

Never stop learning! I've heard that research supports these preventatives as well:
-Becoming bilingual
-Ballroom dancing
-Playing a musical instrument
Learning forms new connections in the brain; using more of your brain is a good preventative.

Posted: Wednesday, January 25, 2012 5:51 PM
Joined: 12/16/2011
Posts: 122

I, too, like Miriam's advice!